start spreading the news (the visitor part 6)

so 4 days of my cousin larry's visit have gone by, and not without incidence.

larry has thus far
managed to get me in trouble with: my landlord, the the department of conservation (DOC for short), and even the dunedin police department!

due to larry's unprovoked attack on a car, tyrannosaurs have been getting a lot of coverage in the news in the last couple days around new zealand. the verdict is we t-rexs are nothing more than stereotypical killing machines. fittingly their comparing larry's real life act to those from his famous film role in the jurassic park movies...
there's a lot of people calling for me and larry to be removed from new zealand (by any means necessary...) ... i'm expecting another visit from agent hamilton, my attache with DOC, to carry out such action... this visit just gets better and better. . fortunately agent hamilton hasn't showed up... yet!

despite the recent anti-dinosaur sentiment sweeping dunedin, not everyone had jumped on the band wagon... my friend owain being one of them. though sadly, not due to his confidence in us tyrannosaurs. he just hadn't read or watched the news lately.

i haven't hung out with owain in a little while, not since our bad run in with the germ-man in fact. we've both been really busy sadly. owain being the great pal he is decided that one of us needed to fix this current trend of none hanging out...

why did he have to pick today of all days to try and reconnect though?!?

after several minutes of looking for me around the garden owain finally tracked me down.

"hey traumador," called owain. i didn't reply not wanting to draw attention to owain's approach.

owain picked up on this though sadly. "what's the deal traum? you haven't called, you haven't wrote, you missed all my birthdays," owain jokes.

"yeah i guess i haven't and did," i feebly jest back.

"man you sound down traum. what's the matter?" owain concernedly asks.

before i can answer though owain suddenly draws in his breath and stiffens his stance as he notices the rather large figure standing behind me...

even now i know how this is going to play out... though larry hasn't said it officially, the whole purpose of this trip was to destroy my life piece by piece... owain is just the next on the list...

though i know i'm fighting fate, i try to introduce owain to larry on the hope of hopes that larry will be play nice. "owain this is my cousin larry."

for several seconds they just stare at each other. larry in disinterest, and owain out of borderline terror...

amazingly to his credit owain worked up his courage enough to speak. "nice to meet you mr. tyrannosaur sir." owain's voice barely betrays his fear. though sadly his smell does. yeah we t-rexs have a pretty good sense of smell, and that old saying "predators can smell your fear" is true!

larry just cocks his head a bit like a bird (as we t-rexs are just giant direct relatives of birds it makes sense we do this... just humans are often surprised by this similarity). i'm more than a little surprised at this.

i venture in hopes that this might actually be a civil interaction. "owain is a film student larry," i try to get a common ground. larry being the biggest dinosaur movie star in modern film might put up with a student of his craft...

owain tries to ease into this subject (man is he the best friend a tyrannosaur can have or what?). "i'm a big fan of jurassic park sir. you capture the majesty and raw power of your kind very elegantly," owain starts.

"so many classic moments. your entering the film with the lamb's leg gag. that magnificent entrance through the electric fence. the classic flashlight in the eye. everyone's favourite part where you eat the lawyer. not to mention the finale rescue of the heroes from the raptors. i have to say sir it is the all time best dinosaur movie of all time!" owain butters larry up. his confidence builds.

"what was it like working with steven speilberg?" he enthusiastically asks forgetting that larry is potentially 6 tons of killer reptile.

than the most tragic thing happened... larry answered.

what makes this so tragic is that larry actually civilly answers owain's question... the debacle is all my fault! me and my peanut sized brain forgot to warn owain that larry doesn't speak english like me (i am the only theropod in the world that can...) but rather tyrannosaurese...

"steven is a most brilliant and imaginative human. working with him is one of the few instances i have ever..." larry begins, but his is cut off... by owain running away!

you see due to my slight neglect the version of the answer owain heard was very much like a live performance of larry's full-on roar from jurassic park. if you don't know any better (which 99.9% of humans justifiably don't) it is a really scary experience...

as owain bolted from the botanic garden my anxiety overwhelmingly came back... another of the people close to me was now terrified of larry, and no doubt had an altered perception of me. not to mention how this might play into the media's hands. suddenly they'd have a close friend of one of the "monsters" spouting on about how menacing we are... and larry wasn't even being a JERK! for once...

"how strange," larry notes. "i actually was beginning to like that mammal."

i try to recover on that sentiment in case i ever somehow managed to get owain to meet larry again.

"he's my best friend in new zealand, and a real awesome guy. you two will get along great on the whole movie thing. we watched all the jurassic park movies, and he loved 1 and 3!" i desperately try to play up owain into larry's vainity (larry still being a JERK! loves himself, and his own movies).

"he's just never heard tyrannosaurese before... you know how skittish humans can be the first few times they hear it." i try to reason with larry.

"he is hardly worthy of being your friend if he can't accept that part of who you are at face value cousin," larry challenges.

"well he... wait what?" larry catches me off guard.

"if he is truly your friend than your native tongue should not scare or offend him," larry notes. "you not only put up with his mammalian language, but you have gone to the effort to learn to speak it. you have even submitted yourself to his culture. you wear mammalian clothing, and try to fit into mammalian society. yet he can't accept you for what little is left of who you are."

technically it was larry's demonstrating of my cultural roots that freaked owain out that bad. yet larry sort of had a point. what if i had asked larry a question in tyrannosaurese or introduced owain to larry in tyrannosaurese. i had done so in english because larry understand english (just doesn't speak it), but what if i had in tyrannosaurese? i don't have as large of lungs as larry making my t-rex accent a little quieter, but it sounds roughly the same.

was larry right? was owain not really my friend? after all weren't friends supposed to tolerate each others differences?

i got stuck on this as the day went on. there were still key questions i needed to ask larry about his visit, but for now the sudden re-examination of my interactions with humans overwhelmed my tiny little mind...

all the while anti-tyrannosaur propaganda spread throughout the city of dunedin...

to be continued...

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